Blogging has become a lot bigger in recent years. It’s a career choice and dream for some, and others enjoy it’s a fun hobby. There’s so many different kinds of bloggers. You have beauty bloggers, vloggers, book bloggers, mental health bloggers, car bloggers and many, many more. If you have an interest there’s a high chance people will have a blog about it. And if not, maybe you should be the first? If you’ve been wanting to start blogging for a while then this is the post for you. There’s things you need to thing about before you start blogging in order to create a more organised mess on your first try. No one is perfect first time round, but with some of these tips maybe you’ll bypass some of the mistakes those before you have made.
What is your aim?
Before you start a blog, you really need to sit down and think about why you want to start. Possible aims for starting a blog are:
- Improving/learning a skill
- Establishing authority in a topic
- Adding to CV and/or portfolio
- Side Hustle
- Meet new people
These reasons, and there’s many more, will have different directions for when you start creating and writing. If you’re writing just as a hobby about what you enjoy, you’re less likely to be writing posts about the sector that you work in (unless you really love it of course!). Writing about your industry sector will mean you’ll have to write much more technical or formal pieces (depending what sector you’re in) to fit the professional aspect of the blog.
Also, blogging can be very time consuming so you need to think about how much effort you will be putting in. If you can only afford to put aside a couple of hours a week then a full website probably isn’t for you. If you’re going to make this into your full time job, well I can only warn you that you’ll have to devote a lot of time and effort into a blog, and it sometimes takes a long time before you get paid enough to survive on just blogging.
One of my biggest pieces of advice for someone starting a blog is to start writing about topics you love or feel passionate about because then that effort will always be a little bit fun.
Accept that Mistakes Happen
Like any new task, skill or job you will go wrong a few times before you get it right. The blogging community is full of people from all around the world and with different skills. There’s those who can write wonderful post’s but can’t design a thing, and then there’s the one’s who can make every photograph beautiful but struggles to write anything meaningful. This world is full of mistakes and things which make people not want to read your blog. Common mistakes and their solutions:
Usually someone will be following your blog to read about specific topics or themes that they enjoy. When you start to branch out of the brand that you’ve made your blog into, some people may lose interest and unfollow you. Thinking up random ideas is a good way to find that inspiration, but you don’t need to write a post about every single idea you have. Stick to your niche and your blog will look more consistent and followers will be happier.
Too Many Topics
There’s not enough time in the world for you to create a website that covers every single topic you know the smallest thing about. Pick a handful of topics you both enjoy, and know something about in order to write meaningful content. This also will help you create higher quality content as you won’t be rushing to write content about every topic.
People writing non-professional blogs often lack the informal language that people enjoy reading. Growing up writing essays in schools and then reports at work has really clamped down the personality in your writing. But you will need to find this personality as people reading will want to get to know you in order to support you and your blog.
On the other end of the spectrum, some struggle to write about a topic coherently. Dumping all the information they know into a blog post will be messy, and often won’t be as readable as you think. You need to learn to write well and include content which flows from one idea to the next. Use a blog outline if you’re writing similar content all the time (E.g. Product and book reviews). Utilise headers and paragraphs to split information up and make it into small readable chunks. Create content that people enjoy reading rather than content that confuses people.
You’ve been reading blog posts for a while now and you aspire to be like X, Y and Z. Your posts have taken on a very similar writing style with a very similar topic and it’s just too close to the original content. You need to create unique content that brings your own personality and style into the writing and images. Take a break from reading those bloggers and find your own voice and brand.
Don’t worry what people think
Some people view blogging as a bad thing. They think it’s an easy thing to do and it’s for people who want to stay at home in their PJ’s on their laptops. This isn’t true (although sometimes writing posts in my PJ’s is a lot more comfortable). Like I said before it takes a lot of time and effort to be a blogger and it is common that people will react negatively if you tell them you’re a blogger. But , don’t take any notice of them at all.
I work in PR and I work with bloggers who are very important for my industry. And there’s been an increase in positive sentiment around bloggers and youtubers over the past few years because content creation is so important. Being a blogger means you’re part of the minority that creates content and doesn’t just consume content. It’s really a good thing, and no matter what others may say, you need to ignore them and believe in yourself and your blog.
At the end of the day, you just need to start creating. There’s no 20 step programme into how to become a blogger, although many websites try to tell you that. Just put a pen to paper, or fingers to a keyboard (depending what kind of writer you are) and write some blog posts. You don’t have to post those first drafts, but if you don’t start somewhere you’ll never get anywhere.